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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Now displaying: Category: Interview
Apr 5, 2016

What were you born to do? As you might have guessed, that’s what this book is all about. Our guide, Chris Guillebeau, gives us a bunch of helpful tips and strategies to help us find the work we were meant to do. Big Ideas we explore include how win the career lottery (hint: think JOY-MONEY-FLOW), playing the elimination game, remembering that if Plan A fails you still have 25 other letters, Warren Buffett on goals, and getting good at quitting.

Mar 29, 2016

Willpower. It’s ESSENTIAL to optimizing our lives. In fact, in their *great* book, Willpower, Roy Baumeister (one of the world’s leading scientific researchers on self-control) and John Tierney (science writer for the New York Times) tell us that “Improving willpower is the surest way to a better life.” In this Note, we’ll learn how to eat our way to willpower (seriously), how to exercise our self-control muscles, why “precommitment” is so important and how to win the willpower game with bright lines and a great offense. :)

Mar 27, 2016

Join us for Part 3 in The Tools interview series as Phil Stutz and Barry Michels walk us through the two Tools we didn't touch on in the prior chats: Grateful Flow (the way to deal with anxiety) and Active Love (powerful tool to deal with anger). Super inspiring, practical wisdom. Hope you love it! (Learn more about Phil + Barry + The Tools at thetoolsbook.com)

Mar 26, 2016

Neil Pasricha is a fascinating guy. A Harvard MBA and director of leadership development for Walmart who gave one of the most popular TED talks ever and published The Book of Awesome which sold 1m+ copies. This book is a fun, quick-read packed with great Ideas. We cover: The Big 7 ways science says we can boost our happiness, waking up with an Icky Guy (the good kind), how to add an hour to your day, a great question to tap into your purpose and wisdom from the greatest physicist ever (hint: create momentum).

Mar 25, 2016

Tom Rath is a best-selling author of Eat Move Sleep + Are You Fully Charged? and a bunch of other great books. (He also wrote our favorite kids book: The Rechargeables!) And, he's a cool guy. Join us as we explore some great, super practical Big Ideas!

Mar 16, 2016

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the most popular professors in Harvard’s history and does a great job of integrating the rigor of the science of happiness with the fun of self-help. Drawing on the latest psychological research, this book walks us through 101 choices we make throughout our lives. Big Ideas include finding happiness boosters, joining the failure hall of fame, focusing on your strengths and co-creating your reality.

Mar 5, 2016

Richie Davidson is one of the world's leading authorities on the neuroscience of emotion and meditation. Join us for a quick chat about some Big Ideas from his work.

Feb 29, 2016

Michael Bungay Stanier is one of the world's leading coaches. Join us we chat about some of the Big Ideas from his new book: The Coaching Habit!

Feb 4, 2016

What do you think about excellence? Do you think it’s primarily driven by natural, inborn talent? Or, do you think that it’s primarily driven by effort? Matthew Syed tells us that’s a very important decision that has a broad impact on how we show up and shows us how to Bounce into our highest potential. Big Ideas we explore include: the iceberg illusion, 1 million balls, doublethink and the importance of purposeful practice + the growth mindset.

Jan 19, 2016

Adam Steltzner is the right kind of crazy. How else do you figure out a sky crane to drop a rover on Mars? (Hah.) In this book, he walks us through "A true story of teamwork, leadership, and high-stakes innovation." Big Ideas we cover include the power of holding on to the doubt (#HOTTD!), embracing the Dark Room, working out and shopping at Radio Shack on Mars.

Jan 16, 2016

Rory Vaden has written two great books I love: Take the Stairs + Procrastinate on Purpose. In this chat, we have fun exploring some of my favorite Big Ideas from each to help us learn how to Multiply Time!

Dec 12, 2015

Deep Work. It’s the key to how you get So Good They Can’t Ignore You—which, of course, is the title of another one of Cal’s great books. Big Ideas include Deep Work vs. Shallow Work, how to give your neurons a workout, cleaning up attention residue, the four rules of deep work, finding the routine that works for you and learning how to shut down completely.

Nov 29, 2015

Mindsight. It's the seventh sense you didn't know you had! Can you pay attention to the inner workings of your own mind? That's what Dr. Dan Siegel, one of the world's leading neuroscientists + psychotherapists, helps us do in this phenomenal book. We'll explore Big Ideas ranging from the basics of brain hygiene to the power of integration and how to live with more flexibility and coherence as we leverage the best of modern neuroscience.

Nov 28, 2015

If you’re looking for a smart, grounded, funny and well-written introduction to the Paleo movement, this is the perfect place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the five ages of our origins (Animal + Paleolithic + Agricultural + Industrial + Information), poisons vs. fountains of youth, the importance of meaning (and how to dial it in) and alarm clocks for bed time.

Nov 19, 2015

Tony Schwartz is the CEO and founder of The Energy Project, which helps companies fuel sustainable high performance by better meeting the needs of their employees. Drawing on the multidisciplinary science of sustainable high performance, Tony’s abiding passion and lifelong commitment is to change the way the world works.

Nov 18, 2015

This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.

Nov 17, 2015

This is Austin Kleon’s second masterful little book on optimizing creativity. The first? Steal Like an Artist. After learning how to get our creativity on, we’re ready to become the artist whose ideas *others* steal. Big Ideas include chain creating, micro sabbaticals, playing till the 9th inning, troll pooper scoopers, and the #1 way to get more followers.

Nov 15, 2015

Failure. Some of us lean into it and learn as much as we can from it, and some of us prefer to avoid thinking about it and/or pretend it never happened. As you may guess, one approach leads to dramatically better performance over the long run. (Hint: Seeing failure as feedback + learning opportunities is a very wise idea.) Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the aviation vs. health care industries, the importance of quantity of work if you want quality, marginal gains, cognitive dissonance and pre-mortems.

Nov 14, 2015

Robin Sharma is one of the world's leading authorities on leadership, greatness and living an extraordinary life. Join us for an inspiring chat about some of his top Big Ideas on how to optimize and actualize!

Nov 8, 2015

Willpower. It’s huge. The Willpower Instinct by award-winning Stanford Professor Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is a GREAT book based on “The Science of Willpower” class Kelly teaches through Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program. It’s *packed* with super practical Big Ideas on the newest scientific insights about self-control to explamkdirin how we can “break old habits and create healthy habits, conquer procrastination, find our focus, and manage stress.” In this Note, we’ll check out the #1 way to build willpower (it’s not what you’d guess), how to give ourselves willpower boosts throughout the day and other stress-relief strategies that rock.

Nov 7, 2015

If you’ve ever had stress in your life (hah!) and wondered how to deal with it more optimally, I think you’ll love this. McGonigal tells us that how we THINK about stress plays a huge role in its affect on us and walks us thru the science behind it. Rather than try to get rid of stress (good luck with that!), we’re much better off shifting our mindsets to embrace and use the stress wisely!

Nov 6, 2015
Dilbert creator Scott Adams is a funny guy. He's also a wise human robot. In this chat, we explore some of my favorite Big Ideas from his great (!) book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (sub-title: Kind of the Story of My Life <-- hah!). Big Ideas include the importance of systems (and why they trump goals), deciding vs. wanting, programming your moist robot, the mysterious power of affirmations, and being the first against the odds.
Nov 3, 2015

Dr. Daniel Amen MD is one of the world’s leading psychiatrists. He’s a clinical neuroscientist (love that phrase!) who has performed 115,000+ SPECT scans on his patients’s brains. (That’s a lot.) This book captures what he’s learned about optimizing our brains, why it’s important and how to do it. Big Ideas we explore include #ANTspray, wisdom from Fat Freddie the penguin, how hungry your brain is (did you know it’s 2% body weight but uses 20-30% of calories consumed?), and a bunch of other goodness.Dr. Daniel Amen MD is one of the world’s leading psychiatrists. He’s a clinical neuroscientist (love that phrase!) who has performed 115,000+ SPECT scans on his patients’s brains. (That’s a lot.) This book captures what he’s learned about optimizing our brains, why it’s important and how to do it. Big Ideas we explore include #ANTspray, wisdom from Fat Freddie the penguin, how hungry your brain is (did you know it’s 2% body weight but uses 20-30% of calories consumed?), and a bunch of other goodness.

Nov 1, 2015

David Emerald's wonderfully wise fable rocks. In this Note, we'll take a quick look at one of my favorite books as we explore the importance of stepping out of DDT (the Dreaded Drama Triangle) and stepping into TED (The Empowerment Dynamic) as we learn to more consistently live from a Creator's perspective (rather than a Victim's) and learn how to hold the tension between our ideals and our current realities by taking baby steps.

Oct 31, 2015

Leonardo da Vinci. Charles Darwin. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Martha Graham. The Wright Brothers. Jane Goodall. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Edison. Zora Neale Hurston. What do they all have in common? Mastery. In this great book Robert Greene shows us the key components of their mastery and, most importantly, how WE can each attain our mastery in our own lives.

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